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 | May 04, 2016

Back to Basics: Using Email Marketing as Your Digital Ally

posted by , Aaron Schaut

Email King

It’s been a while since we’ve posted on the subject of email marketing and its strategic power, as well as its ability to produce conversions and results. In the past couple years, email usage, design and targeting abilities have made many big strides. So many businesses have shifted most of their focus—if not all of it—on social media marketing that email has been slightly overlooked or left by the wayside. It’s time to get those conversions back. 

It’s not so much an alternative as it is an ally

Rather than thinking of email marketing as an alternative to your social campaigns, why not share the output? You can create pretty slick multi-delivery campaigns that pack a one-two punch to your target demographic. With email marketing software such as MailChimp and Campaign Monitor’s powerful drag-and-drop editors, it’s easy to take the elements you’ve created for your social campaign and utilize them with email to send a slick reinforcement of your social campaign directly to your customers. Back that solid call-to-action with a landing page on your website and there is no way you’ll be overlooked.

Utilize your subscriber list for the big results

Chances are you’ve spent years gathering email subscribers and their information into a CRM or Email Marketing System. All that information can be used to segment your delivery into groups that produce impressive open- and click-rate results. Mailchimp reports a 14.47% higher open rate with segmented campaigns and a huge 65% increase in clicks. The more data you have, the better your segmentation will be.

For example, interest groups are a great way to utilize segmentation. If you offer more than one service, you might ask a subscriber to check off the services that they're interested in. It's time to start thinking through your subscriber forms; perhaps adding a couple info-gathering fields isn’t such a bad idea.

Social Data!

You’ve been running social campaigns for a while now and have collected quite a bit of user data and demographics in your social applications, such as Facebook Business Manager, Ads Manager, and Google Analytics. Utilize that data from the start. Mix it with segmentation and you won’t have any problem hitting your biggest fans. FullContact’s social data integration with MailChimp is a great example. You can create segments based on social network, age group, gender, and my favorite—users with the most social influence. This is a pretty cool feature, eh? According to MailChimp, a person's social influence is based on:

  • Whether the subscriber is a member of a social network and which social network(s) they're on. Twitter and Facebook contribute to the Influence Rating more than LinkedIn, Flickr and MySpace.
  • The number of friends/followers they have on their social network(s).
  • Subscriber activity, such as opens and clicks, for sent campaigns.

You can read more about MailChimp’s social data here.

Campaigns that fit your needs 

For a while, responsive email design became so important that it seemed to take over the importance of the campaign. Now that we’ve all conquered responsive email design, it’s probably time to step back and evaluate its use and effectiveness.

Digging through my inbox, it appears that about 90% of retail emails are still image-based and non-responsive. Remember, email still follows a 600px width rule, which is pretty easy to read on an iPhone. They tend to become responsive when they have a list of items on sale. Generally, this type of email leads with an eye-catching image that loads the responsive columns of sale items below the fold.

So when do I get responsive? Generally speaking, it's time to get responsive when your copy is longer than a sentence or you're producing a newsletter. With MailChimp, these can be built using their relatively new drag-and-drop templates. This way you are focusing your budget on design and message rather than on technical development.

What're you waiting for?

Don't let your email list continue to collect dust. Log back into your aggregate email system and make email your ally again.